Drupal

Drupal related posts by Gábor Hojtsy.

Making Drupalcon Copenhagen a developers paradise

Last week, the organizers posted detailed descriptions of the conference tracks for Drupalcon Copenhagen. As was announced, I'm helping to chair the code and development track, which is all about core and contributed modules, APIs, new technologies, databases and data stores, web services, JavaScript wizardry, security, etc, etc. Basically whatever makes the developer geek heart's warm.

To make this Drupalcon yet another developers paradise, I was starting off by looking at the existing session proposals and initiating contact with many session submitters. In some cases, I believe site building sessions crept into the track, so we are working to straighten out some session descriptions and placements. It is generally a good idea to include a good description of yourself with your prior experience explained as well as write up a decent session description so we can get a feel for what are you planning to cover in how much detail.

Trends with the presently submitted sessions seem to be mobile development/deployment, video management, the command line, best practices for coding, extending up and coming major contributed modules (Group, Ubercart on Drupal 7, Views 3) and learning from worst practices even.

It is not at all late to grow this list with exciting sessions. There are certainly some topics missing here getting people ready for some crucial new things in Drupal 7, like the new database layer or fields in core; an update of where the drupal.org git migration is standing, and so on. I'm trying to do my best to contact expert speakers in these areas, but would be extremely open to suggestions on what are you missing from the suggested list of sessions for the track. Let me know in the comments (or via my contact form), so I can do my best to get the content you'd like to see. It's one thing that you'll be able to vote on session proposals but your requested topics are also highly valued.

Drupal 6 Performance Tips Review

Packt Publishing's ever growing Drupal bookshelf expanded with Drupal 6 Performance Tips in February. The book rightly earned its title from being some tips without trying to pin down a comprehensive guide. Maybe even better titling would have been to attach a "for beginners" to the end. Contents of the book really cater for beginners with little coverage of topics outside Drupal's (and some major contributed modules) own internal solutions to performance problems. Its subtitle hints that it provides best practices which I'd respectfully dispute.

What's entirely surprising is that the 220 page volume starts off with 50 pages on upgrading a Drupal 5 site to Drupal 6. While the most current performance tweaks are usually documented for latest versions of Drupal, assuming the reader must have started off with an old Drupal site might not be the best way to set the tone for the book. However, the author comes back to upgrading modules regularly at a later stage in the book, which I've valued. It clearly underlines the need to come back and update your environment once in a while. (That module upgrade explanation is at an absolutely unexpected point in the book, which makes it even better positioned).

Join me at Drupalcamp Timisoara (Romania)

After some organization around travel and accommodation (which is still in flux to some degree), looks like there is nothing in the way for me to attend Drupalcamp Timisoara 2010 and contribute some content to the session schedule as well. Fun! This Drupalcamp is taking place in the Politehnic University of Timisoara in one month on June 5th and 6th, and is primarily English. I'm spotting others coming from as far as Belgium, Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Austria and Germany.

The two sessions I've submitted for the schedule are the following:

Come for the software, stay for the community - how Drupal improves and evolves

"Come for the software, stay for the community" could become Drupal's new slogan (see the discussion), so what better title to use to explain what Drupal is about? In this session I intend to provide a brief overview of what Drupal is and instead of delving into technical details, focus more on how the different avenues to improve Drupal work. Systems like distributions, localizations, issue queues, the core and contributed modules repositories, the security team, automated testing and so on. How can you collaborate with the community and make money on the way?

This session is aimed at beginners or those who could use a good high level overview of different areas of Drupal.

What's up with Drupal 7?

Drupal 7 is about to be released sometime later this year. We don't yet know when, but it is steadily marching towards in its release cycle. As always, this new version of Drupal comes with all kinds of bells and whistles promising to improve our lives. What's even better is that many contributed modules are pledged to release on the day of Drupal 7's release. Automated testing is now the norm and Drupal Gardens is doing an immense deployment of beta testing on a Drupal 7 based service so no Drupal release will be as well tested as this one. Come see the improvements coming up in this release and see why the Drupal 6 maintainer is envious.

Using Drupal as a collaborative software translation tool

I've intended to announce this development at Drupalcon San Francisco but unfortunately the session on this was merged with a more general i18n session which was coupled by the ash cloud above Europe, so I could not go. Evidently, collaborative software translation is not a mainstream topic. On the other hand, I keep receiving requests of the general applicability of the tools Drupal.org uses about every two weeks, and this interest always amazes me. While the localization server tool used on localize.drupal.org grew out of needs of the Drupal community, the solutions were architected to be useful in a general purpose software translation environment. While the architecture was there, it was lacking useful UI controls to just run it as a generic software translation tool.

Existing non-Drupal users like the Gallery 2/3 project and the Musescore desktop app utilize custom data connector modules, which the localization server nicely supports, allowing for custom code to gather data for translation. Gallery even uses a custom Localization client port for clients to submit translations to the server, even though their software is not Drupal based. However, translating arbitrary software without writing your custom connector code was not possible earlier.

First Drupal Summer Camp in Hungary

At the Hungarian community, we are organizing yearly local Drupal conferences ever since 2006 under the "Drupal Conference" and "Drupal Weekend" names. We've also just had our 22nd monthly meetup in a row. We've hosted Drupalcon Szeged 2008. Over these years, we've found that naming for all these events is tricky, and nowadays, the "Drupalcamp" name is sticky for local Drupal conferences. However István Palócz of the Hungarian community had a different dream around camps.

This year, we're gonna have the first Drupal Summer Camp in Hungary (and by the looks of Google search results maybe the first Drupal Summer Camp ever). Unfortunately (at least for my non-Hungarian speaking audience), the event is all in Hungarian (except all the jargon thrown around that is :).

The camp is on from the 23th of June to the 26th and is organized with community participation in mind. People can get experience translating interfaces and sharing their translations, look into drupal.org project maintainership aspects, work with the issue queues to get problems solved, etc. By the nature of being together for four consecutive days (with a complete dormitory floor rented for cost-concious and/or community addicted attendees), lots of hands-on experience can be gathered.

And continuing our good tradition of organizing events with side parties (remember SZIN from Szeged?), this summer camp will take place in Pécs, which is 2010's European Capital of Culture with a vast number of options for chilling out. (Check out more photos of Pécs on Flickr).

I'm looking forward to how this model works out, and am happy to share experiences with anybody looking to make actual summer camps in the future.